The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Monday, January 9, 2012
A nuclear engineer explained the Rubik's Cube to me when everyone was buying one and trying it out. He could solve it in a few seconds.
The center square never moves and determines the color of that side. No amount of rotation is going to change the relationship among those colors.
For this lesson I put the unchanging Word of God in the center square. KJV Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
The Christian Faith is a Rubik's Cube with only one solution. When someone ignores or plays with the Means of Grace, everything else is distorted and out of order. The same is true of each aspect of the Christian Faith. As Luther wrote in many different places, one error will destroy everything in time.
For that reason, the Lutheran reformers were anxious to avoid using the plural of doctrine, as if there are many choices in the cafeteria of Christianity. God has revealed one, singular, unified truth in the Scriptures - the Christian Faith. When a man's confession of faith is full of contradictions, his understanding of the Bible is erroneous.
One error indicates problems in the other areas as well. Proclaiming that God has absolved the entire world, without the Means of Grace, is a rejection of the Holy Spirit working exclusively through the Word. That is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, but also an obliteration of Holy Baptism. Why baptize babies who are born forgiven? an error taught glibly by Eduard Preuss before he became a Roman Catholic theologian.
Why not have an affair with the organist, drive drunk, and molest children in the congregation - all have sinned and all have been declared forgiven. These Antinomian hedonists do not know the Law and cannot teach the Gospel, knowing neither one and therefore betrayed to their own lusts - as Romans 1 predicted.
KJV Romans 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.